Many SMEs are unaware of the alternatives to conventional business bank loans, according to a report from Close Brothers Business Finance.
The organisation – itself a specialist in asset finance solutions – has published its latest quarterly Business Barometer, and says many owners are worried about being turned down for loans by their bank.
Nearly two in five (38%) plan to seek funding in the next 12 months to help underpin their business growth, but half of those – roughly one in five of all SME owner-managers – are worried about being rejected.
However, in many cases there may be alternative forms of lending available to them that they currently do not know about.
The survey found 44% of SME owners do not know anything about asset finance, and one in five are unaware of any alternatives at all to traditional bank lending.
Brian Dhenin, managing director of the broker division at Close Brothers Asset Finance, said: “Innovation is a critical part of many firms’ growth strategies, and yet our survey has highlighted that the ability to be innovative is a stumbling block for many businesses.
“Less than a third of the companies we talked to felt that they are sufficiently innovative.”
He added that the UK’s business environment needs to prioritise “the commercialisation of new ideas” in order to allow innovation to support the recovery of the national economy.